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Grief, Loss, and Hope

The 5 Stages of Grief from the popular TV series Monk is humorous, but actually experiencing grief and loss is not a laughing matter. The stages, though not really stages as though you hop from one to the next, of grief and loss are more like a rollercoaster of emotions.  Not everyone experiences them all, and not even in the same way.

"The first couple of days the pain was unbearable.  I've never felt so depressed and useless in all of my life.  And I was selfish really.  I wasn't thinking about you were gone, I was thinking about myself.  I was thinking, "What am I going to do without her?  How am I supposed to go on living when she's not?" The first couple of months were strange.  I would hear your voice in my head most of the time.  I guess I still felt that I need you in a way." (Starless Sky, Paige Agnew)

7 STAGES OF GRIEF (adapted from Recovery-From-Grief, Back to Life Guidebook)1. SHOCK & DENIAL- Numbed disbelief 2. PAIN & GUILT- Suffering unbelievable pain  and guilty feelings and remorse. 3. ANGER & BARGAINING- Frustration gives way to anger  and questioning "Why me?" 4. "DEPRESSION", REFLECTION, LONELINESS- You finally realize the true magnitude of your loss, and it depresses you. Others may incorrectly think you should be getting on with your life. 5. THE UPWARD TURN- Start to adjust to life without your dear one. 6. RECONSTRUCTION & WORKING THROUGH- You will start to work on practical problems and reconstructing yourself and your life without the one you love. 7. ACCEPTANCE & HOPE- You learn to accept and deal with the reality of your situation.  You find a way forward. Kahlen shares her story of grief and loss in Starless Sky.  However, she doesn't leave the audience in despair.  She tells about hope and change that comes when the rollercoaster ride stops.

"Emma would have been proud of me.  I didn't need her anymore.  I didn't need her to help me actually live my life.  I was finally doing a good job of that myself.  I wasn't afraid anymore.  I wasn't afraid of the future and all of the consequences of the present.  I was finally diving.  I had nothing to be a fraid of.  I knew what it was like to feel like I had lost everything and lived.  Nothing would stop me from living anymore.  Not even the sky was the limit.  I couldn't be satisfied with the sky now.  I wanted something frrther than the clouds surrounded by the deep waves of blue.  Further, further, further...I wanted stars." (Starless Sky)

In the midst of grief it may be hard to believe you can ever experience hope or any semblance of happiness.  With support and time, healing really does happen. 



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